Ask Congress to Send Torture Ban to President

ACTION REQUESTED: WASHINGTON, D.C., 10/06/05) - CAIR today urged American Muslims and other people of conscience to call their elected representatives and ask that a ban on torture by U.S. military personnel be sent to President Bush for his signature.

The Senate voted 90-9 on Wednesday to back an amendment to a $440 billion defense appropriation bill that would prohibit the use of "cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment" against anyone in U.S. government custody anywhere in the world. Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), a former prisoner of war in North Vietnam, sponsored the amendment.

SEE: "Senate Adds Ban on Torture to Bill" http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/politics/2002542695_ torture06.html

A similar House bill does not have the anti-torture language. The two versions will now go to a joint House-Senate committee that will work to reconcile the differences.

"The McCain anti-torture amendment will help to correct the negative perception of our nation created by abuse scandals in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay," said CAIR Government Affairs Director Corey Saylor.

Former Secretary of State Colin Powell wrote a letter to Sen. McCain in support of the anti-torture amendment. Powell wrote:

"Our troops need to hear from the Congress, which has an obligation to speak to such matters under Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution. I also believe the world will note that America is making a clear statement with respect to the expected future behavior of our soldiers. Such a reaction will help deal with the terrible public diplomacy crisis created by Abu Ghraib." Twenty-eight other senior retired military officers expressed their support for McCain's amendment.

SEE: "Letter from General Colin Powell to Sen. McCain" http://www.myrtlebeachonline.com/mld/myrtlebeachonline/ news/politics/12825913.htm

Earlier this year, CAIR and other groups called for an independent 9/11 commission-style investigation into the use of torture by American military personnel. SEE: http://www.cair-net.org/antitorture/

ACTON REQUESTED:

Contact your elected representatives and ask them to ensure that the McCain anti-torture amendment remains part of the final Defense Appropriation bill that Congress will send to President Bush.

To contact your elected representatives, GO TO: http://capwiz.com/cair/mail/oneclick_compose/?alertid=8088021

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